Posts tagged ‘dress’

August 6, 2015

Missing Pieces

Blue Polka Dot Dress with Yellow Cardigan 1 Blue Polka Dot Dress with Yellow Cardigan 5

Blue Polka Dot Dress with Yellow Cardigan 4

Blue Polka Dot Dress with Yellow Cardigan 2

cut out blush shoes

I’m so into this cutout trend right now, and I love everything about these shoes. The Oxford, the lace, the detail, the blush color. Again like my cutout boots, I have no idea what to do about the sock issue… I just sucked it up and wore the ones you wear with flats, so sorry for the faux pas yet again.

I have this nerd-fetish for libraries. I love them all. The smell and feel and quiet and solitude of them. The way that everyone leaves you alone the moment you step inside. (Well, except for this one traumatic incident in my childhood, but I won’t get into that right now.) I especially love the Huntington Beach and Newport Beach library, which are both just gorgeous places.

When I worked at this one fabric store, I used to come to this library during my lunch. It’s a gorgeous, small place in Signal Hill, so of course I went there over the weekend to check out some books.

I love pairing navy blue with yellow, especially mustard. Actually I just love the color mustard in general. I thought the blush-colored oxford flats would go well as a neutral balance to the rest of the outfit.

blue polka dot with yellow cardigan 3

:: Outfit Details ::

White Polka Dot on Navy Blue Dress (~$15 at Ross)
Mustard Yellow Cardigan (~15 from Papaya)
Blush-Colored Lace-up Cutout Oxford Shoes ($10 from here)
Handmade Crossover Body Clutch(~$20 from Etsy, but I can’t remember which store 😦 )

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August 4, 2015

10 Dresses Week 4! Lace Sleeveless Gathered Dress

Lace Gathered Fit and Flared Dress Outfit 2

Yay, it’s already week 4! Only 6 more dresses to go, and I can’t wait to get the rest out to you guys. This week we’re making this sleeveless lace, fit-and-flare, gathered dress. It’s very simple, with an elastic waist and a comfortable flowy skirt, which makes it super comfortable. I made the skirt to my knee, something I don’t normally do, but it’s perfect for church. I also wore this dress to see the Dalai Lama a few weeks ago! lace dress

The lace fabric is something I’ve had for years. I bought a five-yard bolt from Wal-Mart for $5, and I haven’t been able to use up all of it. You’d be surprised how much you can actually make with five yards. Anyway, I finally decided to whip up this dress, and used jet set knit for the lining. You’ll need about one and a half yards depending on your size and height.

lace dress 2Hope you guys like it! Let me know what you think. 🙂

Next week, we’ll be making the striped (also)-sleeveless dress. It’s so casual and comfy, I almost want to call it a t-dress, except it doesn’t have any sleeves. I wore it walking around the harbor with Husband on a super hot day, and it was perfect for the scorching weather. I love how I wore it here with my jeans jacket. I finally got an excuse to wear the denim yo!

striped tank dress

Say hello to Reggie again!

So for next week’s fabric, go grab some stretchy knit fabric. It can be striped or any print that you like. You’ll need about a yard to a yard and a half, so get ready!

July 30, 2015

The Girl in the Purple Scarf

Girl in the Purple ScarfGirl in the Purple ScarfGirl in the Purple Scarf

I’m channeling Becky Bloomwood a.k.a. Shopaholic today–figuratively of course (actually, literally as well, but don’t tell Husband, shh). Except my scarf isn’t from D&G, it’s from Express. Also, I don’t have a British accent, just a boring American one, and I wish my life was half as dramatic as hers, although not really because I’m really happy with the way it is so far. 🙂

Also the dress is made by me, and I doubt Becky Bloomwood would ever make anything that she can just buy.

Girl in the Purple Scarf

Click to learn how to make this dress!

Girl in the Purple Scarf

It was cold today! Which explains the scarf. Fine, by California standards it was cold. In the morning. And then it warmed up by lunch time. So I felt like a weirdo in this scarf and cardigan standing amidst a bright sunlit park. Still, it’s lovely and I feel lovely in it, so I’m not taking it off. (Well, maybe when it gets hot, though.)

Girl in the Purple Scarf

I love reading outside, and settling down in the sun is while the weather is just right is the perfect way to spend my lunch.

This post deviates from my usual budget for Outfits-on-a-Budget, BUT I’ve worn this scarf so many times that I no longer feel bad about it. It was $40 from Express, and I bought it back in the days when I thought it was okay to pop 40 bucks on one piece of fabric. But they say you should divide the dollar amount by how many times you’ll wear it, and then decide if the purchase was worth it. Well I’ve worn this about a thousand times, which means it would cost me 4 cents every time I wear it. So by that logic, I totally deserve more of these scarves.

Or maybe I’ll just make some. 🙂

:: Outfit Details ::

Elastic-Waist Curved Hem Print Dress (made by yours truly, tutorial here!)
White Hollister Knit Cardigan (Christmas gift from my sister-in-law)
Leggings (~$6 from Ross)
Cross-Over-Body Bag (~$30 from H&M)
Brown Flats ($13 from Ross)
Purple Scarf (~$40 from Express)

July 28, 2015

10 Dresses Week Three! Elastic Waistband Curved Hem Dress

Elastic Waist Curved Hem

Welcome back to week three! Remember to send me pictures of your dresses so I can re-post and give you props, yo! Because you deserve it.

Say hello to our guest star, Reggie. He’s a 3-pound, pure-white Maltese I’ve been watching, and he’s the perfect little co-host. Look how terrified he looks in this photo, though. I swear we were actually having a blast, he probably was just startled by the camera clicks.

Week three’s challenge is very similar to my leopard print, elastic-waistband dress that I made way back way when. But I love it a lot more because I finished the neckline, sleeves, and hem differently. I love that the hem is curved and so different from the straight lines I usually do. It gives it a nice flirty look.

Here’s the tutorial:

For this project, I used a very thin, flowy woven cotton. It’s almost silky, but was a charm to work with. The print is bright but (for once) not floral, which is a nice change from the other dresses in this series. I’ve had the fabric for years but never knew what to do with it. When I started this 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks project, I dug around in my stash and remembered how gorgeous this was.

Here I paired it with my favorite leggings and lace booties stilettos. I consider my usual style sweet and girly, but I love how this looks with my long-forgotten moto jacket. I haven’t worn this thing in so long but now I don’t know why because I love it! Once winter comes around, you’ll be seeing repeats of this more times than you can count. 🙂

You can also forget the leggings and jacket during hotter summer days, and wear it with some gladiator sandals. Top if off with a light denim jacket and you’re good to go. This dress is so comfy and flowy, it would also make the perfect swimsuit cover-up. Pair it with some sandals, and maybe throw on a light cardigan when it gets too breezy. Hmm, cardigans. I love cardigans. I need bright colorful ones to jazz up some dull dresses I have. Maybe that’s an idea for my next challenge. 🙂

Stop by on Thursday for my Outfit on a Budget post and I’ll show you how I styled this in the office.

Elastic Waist Curved Hem Dress

I’m trying to look serious for once.

Anyway, have you made any dresses lately? Link me to anything you want to show off. 🙂

Next week we’re doing the fully-lined, lace, fit-and-flare, gathered waistline dress. Wow, what a description, huh? I used about one and a half yards of stretchy lace fabric, and another one and a half yard of jet set knit for the lining.

Lace Gathered Fit and Flared Dress Outfit 5

However, it is a bit longer than what I usually do for dresses, but I had planned to wear that to see the Dalai Lama and as my go-to for church. So if you don’t want to make it as long as the one I showed (a little bit past knee-length), then you might only want to get one yard. It all depends on you.

See you soon for next Tuesday’s tutorial! But don’t forget to stop by on Thursday for the next Outfit on a Budget, and how I styled this dress.

July 23, 2015

My Summer Resolutions Accomplished–For Now, Anyway

close up sunglassespurse as clutch

Pink Polka Dot Dress with Pointy Black Heels from back

This summer, I resolve to do two things:

Wear more sunglasses to protect my eyes. And not carry half my weight with me when I leave the house.

I used to have this large collection of sunglasses, and I hung them on a string of yarn at my accessories station. Yes, our apartment was big enough in Albuquerque that I had an entire section of my bedroom dedicated to shoes, makeup, and generally to the Art of Getting Ready. BUT that was back in New Mexico where space isn’t as limited as it is here, and where I had the luxury of being able to set up such a somewhat scary but very thoroughly missed shrine. Pink Polka Dot Dress with Pointy Black Heels

pointy black heels from top

ANYWAY, I don’t know why–I guess it’s due to a number of lifestyle changes–but when I moved back to California, I ditched most of my accessories. Obviously the beanies and scarves had to go, but I’m not sure why the sunglasses disappeared. I think I just got sick of them. Plus I ran around a lot more often then, and to be honest most of the time they were to protect my eyes from the windy desert debris than from the sun.

Lately I’ve realized how very little protection I actually provide myself from the scorch, especially since I live by the beach and tend to hit the waters more often now that the weather is appropriate. While I’ve always been very diligent when it comes to sunscreen (thank you, Asian Mother), I’ve been neglecting my eyes. So my summer resolution is to wear sunglasses more often. For protection. Not to supplement my shopping addiction. Not that I really need a reason to do that. 🙂

2nd Resolution: Pack lightly when I leave the house.

As in, no more heavy purses that weigh more than my dog (18 pounds–yes, as a chihuahua, he is contributing to the country’s obesity rate). No more packing my life inside my bag. I now have license to leave my ten bottles of sports supplements at home–because despite carrying them with me I never remember to drink them in time. (I mean, I have to pop pills the size of my pinky, and then I have to wait 30 minutes to eat? I’m lucky if I can manage to speak coherently when I’m starving.)

To force myself into this new resolution, I’ve switched out my giant cross-over-body bag from H&M (which has been a staple, and lasted for several years–surprisingly, considering that it was very affordable at $30) for this hybrid clutch / cross-over-body purse. If you haven’t noticed from my outfits, I have a thing for cross-over-body bags because they’re so convenient. I like to have my hands free, especially when I shop– a pastime that takes up much more of my schedule than it should. Which makes this bag perfect because it doubles as cross-over-body, but I can tuck the straps into the pocket and immediately transform it into a clutch.

crossbody bag

Pink Polka Dot Dress with Pointy Black Heels and crossbody

This bag pretty much only allows me to bring along my essentials: phone (the case doubles as a small wallet for my cards), sunglasses (bonus points for summer resolution #1!), lip gloss(es–I mean, how can you really brave the outside world with just one?) and keys. I think it only weighs like 3 pounds. So yay. No more being burdened down by unnecessary weight. What are your summer resolutions? And can you believe half the year is already gone? I know it’s a cliche, but sheesh. It felt like the end of tax season was just last week.

If you’re wondering what’s on my knee, it’s RockTape (kinesiology) tape, which provides support and helps speed up recovery on sports injury. I’ve been swimming and running a lot, and I’ve always had a problem with my right knee but it seems to be flaring up a lot more lately. Anyway, I try not to wear it unless I’ve got some leggings or tights on, but I figured if I have to, I might as well rock it. So I got neon green. I know! Scandalous. I can’t help being a little bit rebellious now and then. 😛

pointy black heels

:: Outfit Details ::

Pink Chiffon Blouson Polka Dot Dress (~$15 from Ross)
Gray Knee-Length Cardigan (Also ~$15 from Ross–maybe I live there, don’t tell the managers)
Cross-Over-Body Clutch ($17 from Ross. Okay I definitely live there)
Black Pointed Toe Pumps ($25 from H&M. These make me so happy!)
Aviator Sunglasses ($6 $3 from Charlotte Russe — I can’t express how much I love these. They’re the first pair of Aviators that have not made my face look like it’s melting, yay!)

July 21, 2015

10 Dresses Week Two! Crocheted Swimsuit Coverup

How to Make a Swimsuit Cover Up or Sweater DressWelcome back to the second week in our summer dresses challenge! Who made the first dress? Please send me pictures if you did!

I’m not sure what to call this, really. A cover-up? A light sweater dress? Also, the fabric–is it lace, is it crocheted?

Swimsuit Coverup

Well whatever it is, I looooooove it.

You can wear it as a swimsuit coverup as I do here.

swimsuit coverup

Or you can wear it over a simple tank dress.

Swimsuit Sweater Dress

It was pretty easy to make this especially since I left the salvage as part of the hem for the bottom and the sleeves, which meant no hemming–yay! Right behind ripping up seams, hemming is probably my least favorite part about sewing. But that’s not the reason I left the neckline raw–I just liked the effect this fabric has when it’s unfinished.

The cuts are very simple. I used a tank dress for the bodice, and then added sleeves. Voila and done. Here’s the video tutorial:

I really love this dress because it’s so versatile. As a swimsuit cover-up, it’s definitely eye-catching, and the bright color goes perfect for summer and pool-side lounging.

I really love layering clothes, so I think it also looks great worn over another dress. Or maybe as a sweater over some leggings. I sometimes think I was born to live exclusively in winter months. But then again, I love bikinis and sunbathing and beaches and pools too much to really stand by that. Actually I just love clothes in general, so never mind.

The other day my best friend and I decided to take advantage of the neighborhood pool. We popped some tiny single-servings of Sutter Home Moscato wine, snacked on frozen grapes, and had a great girls’ day. It was so nice to see her and just enjoy the sunshine.

Next week we’re working on the elastic-waist, curved-hem dress. So if you’re getting ready to sew that project along with me, you’re going to need a yard of woven fabric and a length of elastic. I used the very thin kind, somewhere around 3/8″ wide. Looking forward to seeing how your projects are turning out!

July 16, 2015

What Do I Wear to See the Dalai Lama?

Lace Gathered Fit and Flared Dress Outfit 1

Lace Gathered Fit and Flared Dress Outfit 2Lace Gathered Fit and Flared Dress Outfit 5
Last weekend, I got the chance to see the Dalai Lama in Garden Grove and hear him talk about compassion and kindness. My sister knows the mayor Bao (*flicks dust off shoulders*) and he got us free tickets. I felt really special until I realized that all the tickets were free. Heh.

I’ve made the tragic mistake of Over Dressing before–but then again it’s always better to be overdressed than under-dressed. And plus, since I’m always wearing, well, a dress, I’m technically usually overdressed anyway. So who cares anymore, right?

Lace Gathered Fit and Flared Dress Outfit 6

Thus I opted for my beige stretchy lace fit-and-flare gathered dress, made by mooooooiiiiiiiiii, thankyouverymuch. (The tutorial will be released soon as a part of the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing Series.) I shall bare no arms, so I went in search of a jacket–and I am always looking for an excuse to wear my favorite mustard cardigan (I just bought some fabric to make another one!). Of course when it comes to shoes, I knew that I would be on my feet most of the day since most conventions/lectures usually mean you’re running around looking for your spot, and for the rest of the people in your group. So I wore these cute stacked sandals that I just loooove and they’re so comfortable. I could stand in them all day.

stacked sandals

I love this handmade purse that I got from Etsy, even though one of the rings is starting to break. I reattached it with an extra keyring I had lying around.

Cross Over Body Purse

My sister Vy and I were supposed to go with her friend and her friend’s friend, but Vy bailed on me because she had a last-minute engagement singing gig. (She’s a singer! Check out her YouTube when you have a chance.) But that’s okay because I was just excited to go see the Dalai Lama. This is where I need to add that I don’t believe in the whole reincarnation thing. I know he’s just another man. But it’s cool to go see a celebrity figure. And what’s wrong with hearing about compassion and kindness–don’t we need more of that in the world?

My brother Mac decided to take her place, and then her other friend also bailed, so we ended up giving away one of our tickets anyway. Go figure.

Anyway, it was cool. I got some shots of him. Tiny tiny man.

Dalai Lama Speaking in Garden Grove with Mayor Bao Nguyen

Dalai Lama Speaking in Garden Grove

Dalai Lama clapping with a bunch of Asian people

Dalai Lama SigningDalai Lama Signing

Full disclosure, I didn’t hear anything he said. Neither did my friend.

Which might explain why no one showed anything resembling compassion or kindness when we were fighting to leave the parking lot. Then again, I was in Garden Grove, the heartland of Asian drivers, so…

When I told my boss I was going to see the Dalai Lama, he gave me this Tibetan Prayer Garland. I had no idea what to do with it though. I mean, is it a necklace? A bracelet? Or do I just hold it while I…pray? I don’t know. Besides, it didn’t match my dress.

Tibetan Prayer Garland

So what I wore to see the Dalai Lama was…also what I wore to go shoot some arrows with my brother at the archery field. He offered and I said I wanted to go, and we had about an hour of sunlight left so off we went.

Van Hoang Being AwesomeVan Hoang Being Awesome

Van Hoang Being Awesome

Not too bad for my first try.

Van Hoang Being Awesome

:: Outfit Details ::

Lace Fit and Flare Gathered Waistline Dress (made by yours truly as part of the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing Series)
Mustard Yellow Cardigan (~$15 from Papaya)
Stacked Sandals ($10 from here)
Cross-Over-Body Bag (~$30 from H&M)

July 14, 2015

Week One! Floral Fit and Flare Pleated Dress

Fit and Flare Pleated Dress

Oh em gee, yo, I’m excited to post this dress. I think of all the ten I’m doing for my 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks summer series, this is still my favorite. But not really because I love them all!

This fit-and-flare, floral dress fits absolutely perfectly, but that wasn’t so much due to my sewing talents as it is to the stretchy knit fabric. It’s perfect, thick enough that I didn’t need a lining, but light enough that it won’t suffocate me during those hot 100-degree Southern California days. (First world problems, I know, I know.)

I got this fabric for half off at Joann’s, so I think it came out to about $6 to $7 a yard. Since I only need one yard to make a dress (on average, anyway, depending on the style) because I’m short, that’s definitely a steal!

The bodice is fitted, and modeled after another fit-and-flare dress I own that’s shrunken to a miniature size of what it used to be. The bodice hits me just above the waistline–though I wish I would have dropped it about an inch or two below that.

The skirt is a boxy cut, and I pleated it at the waistline. Want to know a secret? I did it wrong at first. The front pleats were facing the wrong way (inwards, when I wanted them outwards). I was too lazy to change it at first, but then it bothered me so much in the pictures that I had to go back and rip up the seams, which has got to be the worst thing ever (in sewing life, anyway). I’m so glad I sucked it up because I love the dress so much now that it’s done and just the way I like it.

Fit and Floral Pleated Dress OOABFit and Flare Pleated Dress

In the video, I’m pairing it with my black lace booties. Only because stilettos make my legs look longer and I’ll take what I can get in the vertical department. I think it would look lovely paired with some round-toed flats, some sheer tights, and a comfy cardigan for extra warmth.

Then in the summer you can tone it down to some cute sandals and a big floppy hat (to please my Asian mother and protect from the sun) and head to the beach!

So go grab some floral knit fabric and whip up this dress. I made it with half a yard, but I’m petite and wear a small to medium in most brands. If you’re taller, you might want to consider buying a yard and a half, but I still have some leftover from that yard of fabric.

Please send me pics or links if you do make this dress. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Next week, we’ll be working on the pink swimsuit cover-up (or oversized sweater dress, depending on how you look at it 😉 ), so go grab yourself a yard of a sweater-like or crochet-like fabric. I got mine at Jo-Ann, and it was half off apparel knits when I went, so my dress was around $6 to make. Good look, and see you next week!

July 9, 2015

Vivid Brights

close up

dress with purse

Strappy Blush Wedges

Dress with Purse

a line dress with blue raincoat and bright yellow purse

dress with bright purse

I was supposed to wake up super early and take a hike at Hilltop Park in Signal Hill, but of course that didn’t happen. So I went swimming instead and had an amazing hour of almost non-stop laps. My knee is still hurting from kicking wrong, but I decided to opt out of my kinesiology tape because I figured I might as well still make use of the sunshine. Also, I just didn’t feel like having it on my knee in pictures, and then subsequently having a million people ask me what it was, what it’s for, what happened, am I okay blah blah blah.

(I know they’re just being nice. I’m just having a bad week. You know, one of those where nothing goes right and just when you think you’ve had enough, you realize that you can, after all, take on just one more bad thing. Because what choice do you have?)

Anyway, I’m glad I went to Hilltop Park because this place is just gorgeous and made me feel so much better. The pictures don’t do the view any justice, so I’ll spare you my lame attempts. 🙂 People were already there bright and early to enjoy the sunshine, the nice summer air. Moments like these are what make me so glad I moved back to Southern California, even though I had to give up most of my beanies and scarves.

I absolutely loooooove my bright neon-yellow purse. It’s just so gorgeous, and when my outfit feels just a tad bit boring, this always brightens it up instantly. The only problem is that my phone is just slightly too big to fit inside of it, so I tend not to use it as much as I’d like.

Some guy was totally photo-bombing me in this picture:

dress with sweater and purse

:: Outfit Details ::

Floral A-Line Fit-and-Flare Dress (~$6, made by me as part of the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing Series, tutorial anticipated release date Sep 1st)
Blush-Colored Strappy Wedge Heels ($10 from here)
Bright Neon Yellow Cross-Over Body Purse (~$15 from Ross)
Navy Blue Rain Coat (Christmas gift from my sister)
White Hollister Knit Cardigan (Christmas gift from my sister-in-law)

June 30, 2015

I CAN Change a Leopard’s Spots

A few months ago, my husband and I celebrated our ten-year, first-date anniversary. (Yes, we celebrate out first date! But only because we got married on Christmas Eve–all the ladies say “awww”–and the holiday season is usually sucked up by family time, so it’s easier to celebrate just Us on a different date.) I bought this midi skirt for our big night out because it looked so beautiful online and I had the perfect outfit in my mind. Well, it’s technically a midi skirt, but on me it’s more of a maxi. 🙂

Once the package arrived, I couldn’t remember why I thought it would look so great. It’s absolutely not my style at all. I think longer skirts tend to make me look shorter, and I manage that effect organically as it is. I even tried it on as a dress and…

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

No.

So I decided to turn it into a tank top instead! Click for the tutorial.

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